Earlier this year, SkyWater Search Partners was invited to join the Ramsey County Inclusive Workplaces Cohort. The group had its third monthly meeting in December 2021. We would love to share what we have learned and continue the discussion.
February & March Discussion and Take-Aways
Sessions are becoming more and more valuable each month. We are finding that the most valuable sessions are when we are able to meet in groups with our peers and talk about what we are implementing at each of our companies. We share how it's going. What worked, and what isn't working.
People, Policy, Practice
We discussed how DEI efforts need to be practiced at each level of the three Ps:
Efforts need to be embraced by the people in the organization, represented in the organization's policies, and practiced every day as a part of the organization's DNA. The employee experience: Is it for everyone?
When examining the company's hiring practices, are there any outdated practices that are hindering the organization's ability to diversify? Beware of the dangers of looking for the best "culture-fit." If your goal is to hire people who are just like you, you may be missing out on adding to the richness of your team.
Are we looking for culture-fit or culture-add?
Adding team members to your organization with unique backgrounds, experiences, interests, and networks will make your teams stronger. Finding the most successful person in your organization and trying to hire 10 more of them is too narrow of a goal. Seek out people who are unique to yourself, unique to your top performers, but still have what it takes to be successful in the field. It may be more difficult to recognize when you don't have a template for this kind of talent, but it's important to start thinking this way.
We've talked a lot about establishing goals in our company, and holding our employees accountable. Let's take the goal of diversifying within the organization. It's not enough to say that we want to diversify our organization through our hiring and recruiting practices. We need to put a stick in the mud and state a goal.
One of our colleagues stated that her organization has a new goal of reaching 30% non-white employee mix. When asked "how did you land on 30%" she answered earnestly "we don't know, but we had to start with something."
There are countless ways to try and come up with a goal like that. We could take the number from the most recent MN census data in hopes that our organization represents MN. We could aim to represent our customer base. All of these methods that their pros and cons. What is the right goal to set? We're not sure. But setting no goal at all isn't an option anymore.
At SkyWater, we track the number of placements where a diverse slate of candidates was presented. It's time now to set a goal of what we want those results to look like for each team, compare each quarter to the previous, share what worked, and strive to make the next quarter even stronger.
Upcoming Session Topics
We're very excited for our next meeting on December 9, where the topic is "creating an inclusive workplace culture." We'll be posting a blog after each Cohort session so please subscribe to this blog and join the conversation.
Here is the posted schedule through August 2022:
If you'd like to receive updates on all that we are discussing in the Ramsey County Inclusive Workspace Cohort, subscribe to our blog!